To me, self-esteem, is literally as it says: how you esteem yourself. Another way to look at it is how you view yourself and what you're capable of. It's not necessarily how you WANT to feel about yourself, though that can play a part in it, it's how you really FEEL about yourself. How do you think about yourself, if you ever DO think about yourself.
Many people don't like this phrase because it's so illusive. I mean, how do you really know how your self-esteem is? It's also changing depending on new events in your life. You may feel like a wonderful spouse and then you have a child and your self-esteem as a parent is different than the self-esteem as a spouse. Also, many people don't like this phrase because they just really aren't sure how they think or feel about themselves. Maybe you are more concerned about how others feel and what others think about you.
Self-esteem is measured differently as a child than it is as an adult. As a child, your self-esteem may be high because you play ball well or are a good friend. This doesn't really translate the same as an adult. I mean, there are similarities, but it's not the same. Self-esteem is often better before we are aware of how many mistakes we actually make.
In the present, you may be a good spouse or a good parent. You may be a good sports player or seamstress. You may simply realize that you are a human BEING instead of a human DOING and love yourself for that. You may enjoy being by yourself or rather be by others, and not contemplating your owns self. You may think the world of yourself, think that you're worse than dirt, or something in between.
Your self-esteem can determine your success: financially, in relationships, career-wise, health-wise. If you have a hard time loving yourself, maybe you subconsciously won't feel worthy of financial success and will never achieve it. If you don't learn to love yourself, it may be hard for someone else to truly love you. You may not really know who you are, and may choose the completely wrong career for yourself and not know how to change it. If you don't believe in yourself, you may get in bad shape and have health problems that you can't get out of. In fact, this may be your present, instead of your future.
The more you think and feel about yourself, the more you're able to be successful in all areas of life. Self-esteem is actually a lot more a part of all of our lives than we realize. You may not realize that your self-esteem may be blocking you from obtaining your dreams. It may not be, but it may also be doing so. Maybe that's why you keep hitting the wall - not able to get over it.
Basically, self-esteem is the way we look at ourselves. It can be different in the past, present and future, but does ultimately effect us. Having more self-esteem can mean more success in all areas of life.
If you need a little help with your self-esteem, I can help you understand you and hopefully raising your self-esteem. Give me a try - I DARE YOU!